Take advantage of your holidays in Burgundy to become a harvester for a day
You regularly plough a furrow in the aisles of the Wine Fairs in your region to seek out exceptional wines. Burgundian grape varieties hold no more secrets for you, whether Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Aligoté. You know by heart all the appellations of Burgundy and completely master the concept of Climats. But there is still a string missing from your bow; that unique experience: that of taking part in the harvest. And guess what? It is possible to live that unique moment side by side with our Burgundian winemakers.

Take part in the 2020 grape harvest during your holidays

The 2020 grape harvests will start very early this year. The first dates announced indicate a start of picking on 20th August 2020, give or take a day or two. In the Beaune vineyards, the Domaine Besancenot will have the first dance. Its parcels of "Beaune Cent Vignes 1er Cru" are among the first parcels to reach ripeness. This family domain, created in 1850, looks after its 10 hectares of vines in 12 different appellations. Their savoir-faire has been transferred from father to son and now daughter, since today it is Thérèse Besancenot at the head of the Domaine.
Very attached to the respect of the environment, Thérèse cultivates her vines in balanced-approach viticulture, with ploughing as the only groundwork, without chemical weed-killers or insecticides. With all its 7 premier cru wines, the Domaine is an ideal place to participate in the grape harvest and to live the very ‘family’ experience picking grapes, the result of a whole year’s efforts. It is therefore in the company of Thérèse and her faithful harvesters that you can discover part of the winemaker’s craft.
The Domaine Besancenot offers two harvesting days, either Saturday 29th or Sunday 30th August 2020, from 09.00 to 18.00. The welcome and the traditional vineyard casse-croûte snack will immediately get you in the atmosphere. You will live the experience of hand-picking of grapes, then mechanical harvesting (if weather permits). The return to the winery and the wine-making process explained by winemakers will bring an end to this well-filled day.

The Harvest Discovery Day at the Domaine Besancenot

  • Participation in the day of discovery costs 25€ per person (adult)
  • This price includes the meal, tasting and the harvest activities. It is free for children under 12 years of age.
  • You can choose your day, either Saturday 29th or Sunday 30th August 2020.
  • Don’t waste a minute, as places are limited: 12 persons maximum per day.
  • The programme offered:
    • 09.00: Welcome at the domain with casse-croûte followed by hand-picking of grapes
    • 12h00: Burgundian meal with all the team of harvesters and tasting of wines from Domaine Besancenot during the meal (1 course/ 1 wine)
    • 15h00: Observe mechanical harvesting (as a function of the weather) then return to the winery to follow the wine-making process with explanation
    • 18h00: end of this lovely day with a little extra pleasure: the possibility of buying directly the wines of the Domaine.

Live the Grape Harvest Experience at the Château de Pommard

It’s something not to be missed in Burgundy: the Château de Pommard that reigns over the small Burgundian village of the same name. This XVIIIth century Château is the cradle of a winemaking house founded in 1726. The conversion to bio-dynamics of the emblematic Clos Marey-Monge makes the Château de Pommard a standard bearer for Burgundian terroir. It is in this very Clos that you can live an experience that will remain anchored in your memory: the grape harvest at the Château de Pommard.

The 20 hectares of the Clos Marey-Monge are grown en monopole. That means that they are in the unique ownership of the Château de Pommard. It is the biggest private monopole of the Côte de Beaune. So it is in a unique vineyard that you can sample the grapes of a future great wine of Burgundy.
You will go down the rows of vines, accompanied by the teams of professional harvesters. The wine consultants of the Domaine, graduates of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, will be beside you to explain all the steps of the process. You will be able to ask all the questions that come to your mind and you will leave with deepened knowledge of the wines of Burgundy.

The Harvest Experience at the Château de Pommard

For this 3 hour experience in the heart of the Château de Pommard: 100€ per person, with children (10-18 years) at 60€
This price includes the tasting of 6 wines (no tasting included in the children’s price).
You can choose your half-day from 27th to 31st August 2020 (if the harvest is postponed for weather reasons, the offer can be postponed or  reimbursed)
Places are limited, so book as soon as possible : 16 participants per group
The programme proposed :
  • Grape picking, accompanied by the harvesting team of the Château de Pommard and by a graduate wine consultant from WSET
  • The casse-croûte snack with local produce, out in the vines
  • Explanations of the techniques of wine-making and of biodynamic agriculture
  • Passage through the winery and demonstration of grape sorting
  • Tasting of fermentation juice
  • Initiation in the wines of Burgundy: the appellations, Climats, the villages, the grape varieties
  • Initiation in wine-tasting, with 6 wines from the Château de Pommard and the Carabello-Baum Family

Live my life as a Burgundian winemaker, for one day during harvest at the Château de la Crée

The Vineyard Manager at the Château de la Crée is a man who likes sharing, like a number of our vignerons in Burgundy. Jean-Luc patiently awaits the harvest season to be able to share his passion and his know-how with wine lovers passing through Burgundy.
Each day of the year, he has pampered the vines of the domain, watching over their development, worrying about their susceptibilities, treating their wounds in winter and spring. His work will finally be recompensed at the end of August when the hands of harvesters carefully pick the beautiful golden bunches of Chardonnay or the garnet of Pinot Noir. He will be so proud to explain to you what his work entails and how the wines of Burgundy are nurtured and aged. He will guide you so you do it correctly, secateurs in hand. And you can continue to bombard him with questions during lunch in a winemaker atmosphere, with local terroir produce and wines to taste.

The Harvest Experience at the Château de la Crée

  • Half-day at the harvest : price 110€ / adult including lunch and wines
  • Maximum number of participants: 16 persons
  • 09.00: welcome at the Château with coffee and croissants
  • Departure for the vineyards
  • Participation in picking the grapes
  • Return to the Château de la Crée for a preview tasting of 4 wines from vintage 2017
  • Winemaker luncheon in the garden of the Clos du Château

Other Burgundy domains in which to take part in the harvest

The Domaine Dubois & Fils at Prémeaux-Prissey offers a day in the skin of a harvester. The participation in this open-air day in the vines of Burgundy is at 50€ per person. 
Programme for the day:

  • 09.00: Welcome
  • 09.30: Harvesting
  • 12.00: Lunch with the team of harvesters
  • 14.00: Visit of the winery and cellars
  • 15.00: Tasting of the Wines of the Domaine